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Dental Implant Failure & Antidepressants: What’s the Connection?

  • January 12, 2015

Antidepressants are used by more teenagers and adults now than ever before. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in ten Americans over the age of 12 are on a regular antidepressant regimen. While the majority of mental health professionals agrees that it is a good thing that so many people are being treated with SSRIs, recent research has discovered at least one dental health drawback associated with this increasingly common type of medication: the failure of dental implants.

SSRIs and Failed Dental Implants

SSRI drugs, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressant drug in America. A recent study released by the International and American Associations for Dental Research, entitled “SSRIs and the Risk of Osseointegrated Implant Failure – A Cohort Study,” discovered that the use of SSRIs actually increases the incidence of dental implant failure. This is due to the increased risk of bone fracture, an issue that directly impacts the success of an osseointegrated dental implant.

When a dental implant is placed within the bone of the jaw, a process called osseointegration occurs. The bone tissue in the jaw gradually fuses with the implant, creating a strong and long-lasting anchor for a custom restoration like a crown or a denture. If SSRI drugs negatively affect the density of bone throughout the body, it logically follows that they would adversely affect the stability of a dental implant.

Researchers found that dental implant patients who also took antidepressants had experienced more implant failure than those who did not take any SSRI medication. This research will likely influence the way both the dental and medical industries formulate treatment plans for implant patients who are being treated for depression.

Empowering Yourself with Information

Whether you currently take antidepressants and are concerned about their effect on your oral health, or you simply want to learn more about how this type of drug impacts dental implants, contact us today and talk with our caring, skilled oral healthcare team. We want nothing more for our patients than the ability to live full and healthy lives with strong and beautiful smiles. Conveniently located in Collegeville, PA and Williamsport, PA, LANAP & Implant Center of Pennsylvania is privileged to serve families from throughout nearby communities in Lock Haven, Bloomberg, Sunbury, Pottstown, and beyond.